Clean, clear water needed for fishing success

Fishing remains good for yet another week for Anna Maria Island anglers — as long as they can find clean water. 

The recent occurrence of high levels of Lyngbya —or gumbo as most of us refer to it — is very much present in the waters of Anna Maria Island and the waters at the mouth of the Manatee River. Waters that should be emerald green and clear are now resembling the color of pea soup. Not only is this water unappealing to us, but also to the organisms that normally thrive in these waters. That being said, you’ll need to find good water if you plan on catching fish. And, where you find that clean water, you’ll most likely find success.

Fishing the grass flats for catch-and-release snook is going strong. Casting live shiners against mangrove shorelines or oyster bars is proving to result in some good snook action as well. Redfish are mixed in with the snook bite in these areas. 

Fishing deeper grass flats — especially in Sarasota Bay where the water is clean and clear — is resulting in many spotted seatrout as well as mackerel, jack crevalle and ladyfish.

Moving offshore, the bite is really heating up as summer progresses. Blackfin tuna, cobia, permit and amberjack are being caught over offshore wrecks. Bottom fishing is proving to be good — especially for gag grouper and American red snapper, both of which are now in season. Don’t forget to check your size and bag limits at my http://myfwc.com.

Mangrove and yellowtail snapper are quite abundant offshore to round out the bite.

Tarpon are the highlight of the week once again for anglers on Anna Maria Island. Casting live threadfin hearing or pass crabs along the beaches or in the passes is working well. Trying to find your own fish is in your best interest when targeting these finicky fish. If there are several boats working a school you may find the tarpon harder to hook than normal. Having a school to yourself will enable you to fish the school properly, which will increase your chances of hooking up.

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